Pre-Review Process – DS/CN Specific

Time to completion

Maximum 7 days from acknowledgement of receipt.


Managing editor and Editorial Team

Action required by Managing Editor

Review article to check that it is broadly appropriate for the journal and mechanically ready for review.

This involves:

  1. Reviewing the abstract (if any) and contents for broad relevance to the journal’s subject area and approach.
  2. Reviewing the article as a whole for completeness, lack of typographical errors, and broad adherence to the journal’s preferred submission style. This includes being in Chicago author-date format and an appropriate bibliography.
  3. Writing to the editor/editorial team with a quick summary of the article’s content and your opinion as to whether it is broadly on topic and mechanically ready for review. If there is an abstract, and this is a suitable summary, you can include that. If there is no abstract or the abstract does not not adequately represent the content of the submission, summarise the article in no more than two or three sentences (e.g. “This article is about the use of gaming and the techniques of gaming in libraries and art galleries”; “this article is about the participation of Canadian settlers, as opposed to professional British soldiers, in combat in the war of 1812. it argues that ‘Canadians’ played a relatively insignificant part”). Make sure to say specifically whether or not the article has a lot of typos, and (broadly speaking) whether it conforms to the journal’s expectations for format and style (especially bibliographic style, since this is often the most expensive to fix). {{Link to sample emails}}.

The final responsibility for determining suitability for review is the editors’. Because this is primarily a mechanical decision (manuscripts that are off topic or full of typos rarely do well and can usually be sent back to the authors), your recommendation and evidence will be extremely helpful to them, however.

Although your comments will be helpful to the editors, you should not spend too much time on them: if the article appears to be unsuitable, your effort is wasted; if it appears to be suitable, the appropriate time for detailed comment comes after the referees have reviewed the piece. A quick read, impressionistic response, and brief statement of your opinion is all that is necessary at this point.

Action required by Editorial Team

Once your recommendation is sent to the Editorial team, the action will take place depending on your suggestions.
Importantly, if you suggest that the article is appropriate and “ready” for review, one or two members of the editorial team are responsible for reading through the article to ultimately determine if the piece is ready to be sent out for review.

  1. It will be sent to one editorial reader for initial approval. If the first reader believes it is ready for review, then it will be sent out for review.
  2. If the first reader is unsure if the article is ready or not, it will be passed on to a second reader for further determination.
  3. If the editors approve the article then it it will be sent out for review.
  4. If the article does not pass approval from both editors, then it will not be sent out for review.

If the article is rejected, it may be sent back to the author with comments and suggestions for changes and recommended for resubmission, or submission to a more appropriate journal. However, it may be rejected until substantial changes are made, at which point the article can be resubmitted at a later date.

Background and further details

Each Journal in the incubator has a different submission procedure. Typical procedure for DS/CN requires the authors to register and submit via an on-line form in OJS at

Acknowledging receipt in a timely manner and introducing yourself is very important in establishing your (and the journal’s) professionalism. Editorial processes can be very opaque to outsiders, and anything that can reduce this makes subsequent steps easier.

If you are upfront with people about processes and deadlines (and stick to them), you’ll find that things go much easier later in the process.

Canadian Journal of Netherlandic Studies / Revue canadienne d’études néerlandaises

Canadian Journal of Netherlandic Studies / Revue canadienne d’études néerlandaises (CJNS/RCÉN) is published twice a year. It offers a variety of articles on the culture of the Low Countries.

CJNS/RCÉN is published by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Netherlandic Studies / Association canadienne pour l’avancement des études néerlandaises (CAANS-ACAEN).
CJNS/RCÉN is indexed in: MLA Bibliography; Bibliographie van Nederlandse taal- en literatuurwetenschap; Linguistic Bibliography/Bibliographie linguistique; Bibliography of the History of Art; Historical Abstracts; American History and Life.

CJNS/RCÉN is produced with the generous support of the Nederlandse Taalunie, and of Dr. Cecil Houston, Executive Dean of Arts and Human Sciences, University of Windsor. In-kind support is provided by the University of Lethbridge Journal Incubator (, a joint initiative of the University of Lethbridge School of Graduate Studies and University of Lethbridge Library.

Digital Medievalist

Digital Medievalist is an international web-based community for medievalists working with digital media. It was established in 2003 to help scholars meet the increasingly sophisticated demands faced by designers of contemporary digital projects. Digital Medievalist publishes an open access journal, sponsors conference sessions, runs an email discussion list and encourages best practice in digital medieval resource creation.

Membership in Digital Medievalist is open to anyone with an interest in its subject matter, without regard to skill or previous experience in Digital Humanities or Medieval Studies. Participants range from novices contemplating their first project to many of the pioneers in our field. There are, as of 5 May 2012, a total of 744 members of the mailing list.

The project is hosted at the University of Lethbridge, and overseen by an international executive of medievalists with extensive experience in the use of digital media.

Digital Studies / Le champ numérique

Digital Studies / Le champ numérique (ISSN 1918-3666) is a refereed academic journal serving as a formal arena for scholarly activity and as an academic resource for researchers in the digital humanities. DS/CN is published by the Society for Digital Humanities / Société pour l’étude des médias interactifs (SDH/SEMI), a partner in the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organisations (ADHO). DS/CN was founded for SDH/SEMI at the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab, University of Victoria, in 2008 by Ray Siemens and Christian Vandendorpe.

Email Templates

Acknowledgement of Submitted Article

Dear Professor [Name],

Thank you for your submission to [Journal Title]. I am the managing editor and will be shepherding your article through the review process.

In the course of the next two to four weeks, I and the editors will review your submission to ensure it is ready and suitable to be sent to referees. At that point we will either return it to you with suggestions for revision or begin contacting suitable referees. Once the submission is ready for review, we will begin contacting potential referees.

The whole process tends to require a minimum of 12 weeks, but varies considerably depending on the availability of referees.

Thank you very much for your submission to [Journal Title] and you will be hearing from me soon.


Managing Editor
[Journal Title]

Request for Peer Review

Dear Professor [Name]:
My name is [your name] and I am managing editor at [journal name]. [Editor name] has recommended that you would serve as an excellent reviewer of the manuscript, [manuscript title], which has been submitted to us, or possibly recommend someone else if you cannot undertake a review at this time. The submission’s abstract is inserted below, and I hope that you will consider undertaking this important task for us. If you do decide to review this manuscript, please be advised that we now publish our peer reviewers’ names on the final article. For your reference, the recommendation options are listed below.

The review itself is due [deadline], although we are able to provide some flexibility should you require it.

<!– Included for DS/CN only: Additionally, if you do agree to do the review, I will enroll you as a reviewer in OJS, our workflow management system, which is where you will access the manuscript and log your recommendation. –>

Although a form is available, we find that most referees prefer a more free-form or narrative approach to discussing a contribution’s strengths and weaknesses. If you too prefer this format, we ask you to provide both a general sense of the submission’s strengths and weaknesses, any more specific comments you feel might help the editors or the author(s), and a publication recommendation:

<!– The below is tailored to DS/CN but can easily be re-worded for DM or CJNS –>
1) Accept (with at most minor stylistic or typographical corrections)
2) Accept pending revision (i.e. paper is more or less publishable, but needs some clarification, a few additional citations, some extra examples or data, etc.).
3) Revise and resubmit (i.e. the paper contains publishable material and is suitable for DSCN, but requires substantial revision, reworking, expansion or contraction, or significant amounts of extra work).
4) Reject (i.e. the paper is unsuitable for publication or unsuitable for publication in DSCN).

Options 1 and 2 are recommendations to publish. Options 3 and 4 are recommendations to reject. If you recommend options 1 or 2, the editors will make sure that any suggested revisions or corrections are addressed by the author(s). If you recommend options 3 and 4, the article will be required to undergo further review before it can be considered for publication.

Finally, if you recommend options 1 or 2 (i.e. a recommendation to publish), we would also like you to give us permission to publish your name on the article colophon (i.e. below the author information) as a “recommending referee.” DSCN uses a modifed version of the refereeing system recommended by Geoffrey K. Pullum, “Stalking the Perfect Journal,” Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 2.2 (1984): 266–67. Referees who recommend rejection (i.e. either “revise and resubmit” or “reject”) are and will remain anonymous. Referees who recommend publication, however, will be identified on the colophon of all articles published in DSCN as a “Recommending Referee” (the editor who acts as the “Accepting Editor” will also be named in this fashion). This is to acknowledge the efforts of our referees in a public way, demonstrate the quality and rigour of the DSCN review process, and ensure transparency (for an example of how this approach works, please see the online journal Digital Medievalist).

Unless we hear otherwise, we will assume a positive recommendation will grant us this permission. Because this method ensures that our review process is transparent, we cannot act on a recommendation to publish if we are not granted permission to publish an accepting referee’s name.

Thank you for considering this review and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!

[Your name]
Managing Editor
[Journal title]

[Manuscript Title]


Recommendation Options:

  1. Accept
  2. Accept with revisions
  3. Revise and resubmit
  4. Reject

*For DSCN and DM; omit for CJNS.

**For DSCN only; omit for other journals.


Revision Email to Authors after Peer Review

Dear Professor [Name],

Congratulations! Your submission to [Journal Title] has been accepted with revisions for publication in our [season] issue. Because the this issue is set for publication in [month], we hope to receive your revisions by [deadline date].

Included below are the reviewer comments and we hope you find them useful in your revision. In addition to the revisions, please provide us with [anything else required from author, i.e. abstract, keywords, author details, etc.].

When you submit your revised text, we would appreciate it if you could indicate in the accompanying email or other form whether there are any suggestions you decided against adopting, especially if this means you have not made any corrections or revisions at the point in question. We can track minor changes using the track-changes function.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Thank you for your submission to [Journal Title]!


[Journal Title]

Review Reminder

[Journal Title]
Dear Professor [Name],

This is just a gentle reminder that your review of the submission, “[Title],” for [Journal Title] is due in [number of days], on [Date].

Please let me know if you require additional time to complete your review. Otherwise, I look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you,